You can consider yourself two things. Dumped -- and relieved.
-- C.J. Lamb (Amanda Donohoe) to no-longer-potential girlfriend Abby Perkins (Michele Greene) on L.A. Law, 1991
About Sony deciding to junk its current plans for a fourth Spider-Man
film and start from scratch with a new director, new writers and a new cast:
Did Sam Raimi really seem that excited to return to it?
The director has talked about what he wanted to do with a fourth film, and about his frustrations with the third (with which I was frustrated back in 2007, for my own reasons
) and what he'd try to avoid with that hoped-for fourth, and then the rumors were that it would be another large-cast-of-villains flick, and that Black
Cat would be in the film but not as Black
Cat, I hadn't yet figured that out myself, and it was looking like it would be a large-perhaps-overly-large production again, in a way that could potentially go out of Raimi's control. And maybe the new Spider-Man
film will be overly large, but it won't be anything Sam Raimi will have to feel frustrated about.
I kind of hope that Raimi's feeling some relief over getting dumped. He got to do a small horror film (Drag Me To Hell
, 2009) as an antidote to his blockbusters, a palate-cleanser between one $200 million production and another, and that seemed to give him additional perspective on how much these franchises can take over one's world and one's life; can you imagine repeatedly being given hundreds of millions of dollars to use? And the conditions tied to the use of so much money? I'd heard rumors of how affected Raimi was by the battles on 2004's Spider-Man 2
(composer Danny Elfman said Raimi turned into "a pod person"
), and knowing that it wounded relationships I was a little sad on behalf of the people involved. These can be insane productions, and him not doing another one in this franchise means he's gotten away from that part of the insanity.
I'm making it sound like the dude's going to turn into a recluse. I'm speaking badly. To speak better: in case anyone was thinking so, this isn't the end of Raimi's career. This might be fantastic
for Raimi's career. He'll find stuff to do, just not a Spider-Man
film. As much as I like Joe Dante's film work, I think of how he started in exploitation -- remember, he directed The Howling
-- then got under Steven Spielberg's wing and started making films that were, to an extent, Spielberg-lite, and I wonder what sort of work Dante would have done had that not happened. He'd've worked. He's a hard worker. So's Raimi (as you can tell from his friend Bruce Campbell's memoir If Chins Could Kill
). And as I can't muster up much enthusiasm right now for a new Spider-Man
film, this doesn't feel like a loss, or anything for me to get worked up about. There's more to Sam Raimi's life than making Spider-Man
movies. Now he can act on that, in a more thorough way.
* Edited to use the correct character name. Oops. Now it's de-oopsed.